Hans Fidom Dutch Organ Fašades in the first half of the 20th century
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 3, 17-30 [summary]

A logical method to get acquainted with Dutch organ building between 1900 and 1950 is to look at the instruments.

The architecture of the fašades is related to that of contemporary buildings; church architects quite often designed fašades. Patterns based on those designs often inspired organ builders.

After architect Berlage (1856-1934), who strove for a balance between functionality and fantasy, the Amsterdam School, which preferred fantasy to realism, was important, as was Functionalism (related to the well-known De Stijl), in which the function of buildings was their most important aspect. Furthermore, Jugendstil-architecture and, later on, historically-oriented styles like that of the Delftse School were popular. Styles like these can be recognised in the organ fašades. The organs in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (1891, designed by architect Van Gendt, who referred to the organ at Hoorn, cf. photos 4 and 12) and the Nieuwe Zuiderkerk at Rotterdam (1915, Tjeerd Kuipers, photo 26) were the main sources of inspiration.

In the course of the 20th century, the organ case disappeared. Special attention should be given to the fašades designed by Berend Tobia Boeyinga (Maranathakerk Rotterdam, 1930, in which he combined functionalistic and Amsterdam School ideas, photo 44) and Egbert Reitsma, who promulgated fašades with several layers of pipes (as in Andijk, 1930, photo 47).

The series of photos below shows the development of the Dutch organ fašades between 1900 and 1950.

The relation between the fašade and the interior of the respective organs is in most cases quite weak. Most of the instruments are (electro-)pneumatic organs with channel chests. Their tonal design mirrors that of contemporary German organs.

Photo 1 Photo 11 Photo 21 Photo 31 Photo 41 Photo 51 Photo 61 Photo 71
Photo 2 Photo 12 Photo 22 Photo 32 Photo 42 Photo 52 Photo 62 Photo 72
Photo 3 Photo 13 Photo 23 Photo 33 Photo 43 Photo 53 Photo 63 Photo 73
Photo 4 Photo 14 Photo 24 Photo 34 Photo 44 Photo 54 Photo 64 Photo 74
Photo 5 Photo 15 Photo 25 Photo 35 Photo 45 Photo 55 Photo 65 Photo 75
Photo 6 Photo 16 Photo 26 Photo 36 Photo 46 Photo 56 Photo 66 leeg veld
Photo 7 Photo 17 Photo 27 Photo 37 Photo 47 Photo 57 Photo 67 leeg veld
Photo 8 Photo 18 Photo 28 Photo 38 Photo 48 Photo 58 Photo 68 leeg veld
Photo 9 Photo 19 Photo 29 Photo 39 Photo 49 Photo 59 Photo 69 leeg veld
Photo 10 Photo 20 Photo 30 Photo 40 Photo 50 Photo 60 Photo 70 leeg veld